How does one get to be a celebrity personal assistant—aside from knowing someone, of course?
—Dawn, New York
The B!tch Replies: The best way to find a private human punching bag is to approach other human punching bags and ask who might like a change of dungeon. From a prisoner's perspective, the rack can seem rather thrilling if you've spent the last three years under thumbscrews or deep in Chinese water torture.
Where do such servants get their start? At the shops on Rodeo Drive or Robertson Boulevard, of course, taking a prime role in closing down a boutique for private celebrity shopping sprees, shooing away paparazzi or fetching sushi-free sushi plates for a vegetarian like Pam Anderson or air lattes for a visiting Victoria Beckham.
All that makes an ideal education for a potential assistant, according to my finest sources inside the Hollywood service industry.
"If you have a salesperson who has worked at Gucci or Versace, they know exactly how to deal with that kind of clientele," explains Charles Hawkins, concierge at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills.
Celebrities often start their searches at a hotel concierge desk. Sometimes, in fact, the search also ends there.
"I've been called myself by [recruiting] agencies saying, 'We would love for you to come in for an interview,' " Hawkins says. "Some are very blunt. They'll contact you one way or another."
Hawkins instead refers guests to one of two top local headhunters who specialize in personal assistants for celebrities. These recruiters are so exclusive that at least one won't take your call without a go-between.
Other personal valets cut their teeth as production assistants on film shoots. If you find yourself on the set of Jessica Simpson's latest hootenanny, and you know how to find her favorite brand of Restylane-flavored bubble gum in record time, day or night, you just might become the next Cacee Cobb. It's just that exciting, y'all.
Once hired, expect your stay to be short.
"I'm always surprised when an assistant has been with someone for a period of years," instead of weeks or months, says Hawkins, who, through the Four Seasons, has catered to bazillions of A-listers and their staffs.
Still, that sort of news shouldn't worry you, Dawn. You can always go back to fetch cups of air for Victoria.